Best Things To Do During Christmas in Dubai

Top Things to Do to During Christmas in Dubai

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to celebrate Christmas in Dubai? For a city known for making everything extravagant, you know the holiday season here is more than just some stockings and a holiday cheer.

So, if you’re planning to visit the city during Christmas, we created a list of the things that you can do. Oh, and we made sure to check it twice!

Shop at the Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market


Address: Fort Island – Madinat Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Contact details:

Operating hours:

  • 3:00 PM to 12:00 AM daily


  • Free

The Festive Market at Madinat Jumeirah is one of the best Christmas markets in Dubai for the diversity of its food, products and shoppers, making it a must-visit spot during the holidays.

Located in the historic part of the city, the market covers over 1,750 square meters of space filled with everything from food booths to fun rides. 

True to its name, the Festive Market has something for every definition of fun. Craving for street food? You’ll have plenty to choose from at the market.

Do you want to go gift shopping? You’ll be spoilt for choice with the many locals selling everything from handcrafted products to one-of-a-kind artisan pieces.

Just looking to have fun with the family? There’s a train, carousel and even a snow fight zone in the market for you to try.

And to complete your Arabian Christmas experience, don’t miss riding the traditional Abra with Santa that your kids will surely remember for a very long time.

Pro tip:
The market is open from afternoon until midnight, but parking can get hectic right before dinner. So, if you’re bringing a car, try to come early to get the best parking spot near the market.

Meet Santa in the Desert


Address: Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Contact details: +971 50 336 0397

Operating hours:

  • 4:00 AM to 10:30 PM daily


  • Starts at AED 890 for adults and AED 380 for kids

Forget about rocking in the winter wonderland because Christmas in Dubai means meeting Santa in the middle of the desert – a fancy desert resort, that is.

In the middle of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is Sonara Camp, a luxury desert getaway with all the comforts of a resort and the magic of the desert.

Does the idea of enjoying a campfire, riding a camel and watching traditional dances sound good to you? At Christmas, Sonara Camp makes your experience more enchanting with a meet and greet with Santa.

Who would’ve thought you’d meet Father Christmas while surrounded by golden dunes? Now that’s a core memory for you and your kids and a truly quintessential Arabian experience.

But that’s not all because staying at the camp means enjoying a lot of Christmas activities like making gingerbread houses, decorating cookies and even creating Christmas cards.

Pro tip:
When the little ones are tucked into bed, sneak out in your pajamas and enjoy a movie with your spouse under the stars while sipping on your favorite wine or cocktail.
Nothing’s more magical than getting some down time with the desert in your background.

Experience Snow at Ski Dubai 


Address: Mall of the Emirates – Sheikh Zayed Road – Al Barsha 1 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Contact details: +971 4 409 4000

Operating hours:

  • 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM daily


  • Tickets costs between AED 220 and AED 320 depending on your activities

Okay, we know that nothing still beats seeing snow to really make you feel like you’re celebrating Christmas. Good thing, you can always go to Ski Dubai for that experience.

Although you can visit this indoor ski resort any time, the experience becomes more magical during the holidays when you see Santa greeting you upon arrival and Christmas music plays while you ski.

You can even meet some lovely penguins while you’re at it! And if you suddenly crave for a cup of hot chocolate while skiing down the slopes, head to one of the cafes inside the resort for a break.

Pro tip:
Ski Dubai becomes extra busy during the holidays season. So, we recommend booking your tickets ahead to avoid disappointments during your visit.

Treat Yourself to a Michelin-Starred Dinner


Address: Atlantis the Royal – Crescent Road – Palm Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Contact details: +971 4 426 2444

Operating hours: 

  • 6:00 PM to 11:00 Pm from Wednesday to Saturday
  • 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM every Sunday


  • AED 1,750 for a five course dinner with wine pairing
  • AED 2,750 for a six course dinner with wine pairing

Christmas in Dubai is the perfect time to treat yourself to a well-deserved sumptuous dinner. And what better way to do that than in a Michelin-starred restaurant? A restaurant by the great Heston Blumenthal to be exact.

This restaurant at Atlantis the Royal is already making waves in Dubai’s dining scene and for Christmas, Chef Blumenthal takes the ante up a notch with a special six-course tasting menu.

Classic British recipes are given an upgrade in this Christmas-themed menu. And we’re talking about Heston Blumenthal here, so you can expect something unique and different.

Think about sheried scallops, plum meat fruit and venison and pickled cherries for Christmas dinner. And let’s not forget the classic roast chicken and of course, the famous Tipsy Cake.

Pro tip:
This Michelin-starred restaurant has a long waiting list. So, if you want to dine for Christmas, we recommend booking as early as a few months before your trip.

Go on a Picnic by the Beach


Address: Crescent Road – Palm Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Contact details: +971 4 818 2222

Operating hours:

  • 24 hours daily


  • Price available upon request

We know the beach may be the last thing in mind when you think about winter. But if you’re in Dubai, winter is actually the best time to go to the beach – and of course, it’s also Christmas!

But you don’t have to go through the hassles of packing a beach picnic basket because you can grab a pre-made one in Sunset 55 at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai The Palm.

And this isn’t just any picnic basket because it includes some cold cuts, different types of cheese, chutneys and of course, a bottle of champagne or wine. 

Pick a spot by the beach where you can lay your picnic blanket and basket so you can enjoy the sunset.

Pro tip:
While you’re at Waldorf Astoria Dubai, why not try their other Christmas activities? Attend the Christmas tree lighting with the kids, enjoy a Christmas-themed afternoon tea at Peacock Alley and feast on a Christmas Eve dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants.

Go on a Culinary Adventure at Time Out Market


Address: Souk Al Bahar – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Contact details: +971 54 375 2421

Operating hours:

  • 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM from Sunday to Thursday
  • 12:00 PM to 1:00 AM Every Friday
  • 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM every Saturday.


  • Starts at AED 49

Time Out Market is already a popular dining spot in Dubai, but it becomes more special during Christmas when 17 of the city’s most talented chefs prepare their signature Christmas-inspired dish.

The massive 43,000 square feet market gets extra festive during the holiday season with all these local concepts elevating their food game with a Christmas twist.

And you’ll be surprised at how much good food you’ll find in the market. Fancy Italian food? Try Fulvio’s spaghetti alle vongole with clams. 

Craving Japanase food? Go for Reif Japanese Kushiyaki’s turkey ramen. Oh, and don’t forget Follow Workshop’s Yorkshire pudding with chestnut and turkey leg stuffing.

We’re not done yet because we alsor recommend Little Erth’s classic pecan pie and Pitfire’s apple pie with vanilla custard and cinnamon sugar knots. 

Pro tip:
With so much food to try, we recommend planning your day at the Time Out Market and coming in early before the places gets packed with locals and tourists, especially on the weekends.